Home builder confident in direction of market in valley
Rob Griffin builds houses for a living, so he’s not going to make the times seem better than they are.
Griffin, 52, however, remains an optimist, one who believes not just in the future, but in the long term.
That’s perhaps why he is bringing his son, Dane, 26, along in the family business, Griffin Concepts Inc.
Griffin moved to Grand Junction in 1990 from Albuquerque to work for Alpine CM, then worked for International Concept Management, where he toured the world, handling construction projects.
In 2003, Griffin struck out on his own, setting up Griffin Concepts Inc. as the western Colorado economy began to boom.
Though he worked on jobs for International Concept Management from Berlin to Italy to Thailand to Dubai, he prefers the West. He was born and raised in Salt Lake City and is a University of New Mexico Lobo.
Since he struck out on his own, Griffin has seen the economy stumble and tumble, but he refuses to believe that his industry is on its knees.
“There is still construction going on” he told real estate agents and others in the housing industry in February.
Griffin knows the strengths and weaknesses of the western Colorado building industry from two sides, one as the head of his own company and the other as the chairman of the Homebuilders Association of Western Colorado.
As the latter, Griffin said, there’s no doubt things have changed since the price of natural gas dropped and took with it much of the energy economy.
“We have to start back at square one,” Griffin said.
“We have to readjust and readapt to the new realities. We’re in a new economy and this economy is our new reality.”
Gone are easy money, low down payments and the like, he said.
In is energy consciousness and building houses in ways that they’ll be less expensive to heat and cool, and in which to cook. Insulation is back.
Griffin Concepts is an Energy Star builder, and for customers, that makes a difference, he said.
Some things are still the same, despite the changes of recent months.
Coloradans still make up the biggest clientele for his industry, in particular people from Colorado Springs and Denver, Griffin said.
Most importantly, people still are moving to the Grand Valley and they want houses. Griffin is eager to help them out.
“It gets us out of engineering mode,” and lets him and his company tap into the artistic bent they have, Griffin said.
Getting to know his customers lets him match their wants, Griffin said, and “help to create a lifestyle for people. It’s really fun.”
His favorite project?
“Every new one,” he said, “is my favorite.”